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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Preparation for MU Trans* compassion week preparations begins

Photo by Photo curtesy of Emma Wuetrich
Each flag symbolizes a transgender life that have been lost.

Crafting with compassion, Soup with Substance, transgender day of remembrance vigil, gender-affirming make up workshops and support will be held throughout Trans* Compassion week.

Trans* Compassion week is Nov. 14 to Nov. 20 and has events throughout campus for all students to participate in. Emma Wuetrich, assistant director of the LGBTQ+ resource center, said they programmed planned the week around International Transgender Day of Remembrance, Nov. 20.

Wuetrich said trans* with the asterisk is used to include gender non-conforming people that may not personally identify as transgender, but are still included.

International Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed to honor and recognize transgender people who have been lost through anti-transgender violence.

Wuetrich said Trans* Compassion week has events catered towards students, staff and faculty to bring awareness, joy and support to the community.

Juniper Beatty, a graduate assistant in the LGBTQ+ resource center, said the week tries to ensure that everyone at Marquette and in general feels seen, heard and valued with their gender identity. On the other side, Beatty said it also recognizes the trauma that trans* people face, especially those who are young and people of color.

“There is a disproportionately high rate of harm that happens to that community and it’s really important to recognize that especially at Marquette — which has done a lot of great things for trans* folks but also of course historically has had some struggles, so it’s important to do the balance of joy but also compassion and understanding,” Beatty said.

Beatty said Trans* Compassion Week really focuses on making sure transgender students feel joy but also making sure that they feel cared about and seen.

“There are a lot of queer students on campus, and not all of them engage with the center and so even if folks have a queer identity on campus, don’t come to these programs, just more and more people knowing about this week can be really affirming knowing we have these supports,” Wuetrich said.

This will be the third Trans* Compassion Week at Marquette.

Along with a former graduate assistant Chelsey Tennis, Wuetrich said the two of them created the week two years ago to have more structured, explicit support for transgender students on campus.

Throughout the week, Wuetrich said they collaborate with different groups and organizations on campus to host events and make it possible. She said one of the best parts of the week is this collaboration and expanding their network outside of the resource center.

Wuetrich said she’s especially excited about their crafting with compassion event, which entails creating your own Muppet.

“Why Muppets? It actually came from a really great, organic conversation that happened in the resource center at the beginning of the year where a first-year student was talking about their passion for Jim Henson and Muppets and we were all delving into how many Muppets are queer-coded and what good role models they were for us growing up,” Wuetrich said.

Wuetrich said the goal of the event is for people to create a Muppet that resembles their “spirit.”

Beatty said they are also excited to utilize their creativity and participate in the event.

“It’ll be a really great chance for community building and also trans joy,” Beatty said.

Late Night Marquette is collaborating with the resource center for the crafting with compassion event. Adam Fredrick, a graduate assistant for campus activities at Late Night Marquette, said he’s happy to collaborate with the resource center.

“Being able to support these other areas that may not have the resources to put on an event that can reach the campus because the biggest thing we can offer is our marketing tools,” Fredrick said. “Being able to make sure their mission is able to be out in front and Late Night, we’re just happy to be a part of it.”

The transgender day of remembrance vigil will honor the trans* people who died by suicide and were murdered in 2022.

82% of people who are transgender have contemplated suicide, while 40% die by suicide. Transgender youth pose the biggest risk of suicide of the trans community.

“A lot of this week, especially in terms of the vigil, is recognizing that struggle and seeing tangibly the names of the people in our community that unfortunately have been lost,” Beatty said. “The vigil is a time to honor that and remind everyone to cherish and honor the individuals who are still alive.”

One of the biggest quotes that Beatty said will be emphasized throughout the week is ‘not one more,‘ which she said symbolizes not wanting to lose one more valuable life of the transgender community.

Beatty said this week encourages people to think about the ways they are supporting the trans* community members around them because there are transgender students at Marquette.

“I hope that trans* students know that they’re seen and valued and that their struggles are seen and valued and that they have folks on campus who really love them and care about them,” Beatty said. “But I also hope that folks who don’t think about trans* students as much get that reminder of ‘there are trans* students and that you don’t know somebody’s identity, so you always want to walk with care and make sure that you’re taking steps to making sure everyone feels included and loved,'”

This story was written by Julia Abuzzahab. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @juliaabuz

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Julia Abuzzahab
Julia Abuzzahab, Executive Projects Editor
Julia Abuzzahab is a senior from Wausau, Wisconsin studying journalism and film and media studies and is the Executive Projects Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Prior to this position, she served as the Executive News Editor for the organization. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys playing piano and seeing her friends. She is most excited to see all of the work her and her team accomplish this year and spending time with her friends in the newsroom.  

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